This post is not meant to be A Girl's Ultimate Guide to Gamine as much as a list of guidelines I follow to achieve a look that feels cohesive and multi-functional for all the activities that typically fill my days.
Incorporating a gamine feel to your look is a balancing act...combining the girl-next-door charm with coy femininity. The shapes are generally boxy, which means you'll want to include soft textures like silk or simple touches of lace.
1) Keep your accessories thin.
A few slim and colorful accessories will sweeten up the most basic outfit. Throwing a well-structure blazer over a playfully girlish blouse will instantly take a look from tom-boyishness to adult sophistication, but you want your accessories to be skinny to offset the boyish and boxy shape of the jacket. It works because the two extremes play off each other and it's why you'll see women combining the most ruffly dresses with riding boots or a charming blouse with a pair of Sperry's. With gamine, it's all about the balance.
2) Utilize sophisticated color palettes.
Obviously, you can use any natural palette of color combinations...grays, camels, and creams. Aim for warm, neutral hues, then add one shot of unexpected color. The black and white stripes on this sweater are playful, while the pale pink ruffles on the blouse are sticky with girlish charm.
3) Add a trench.
No matter the color, a well-cut trench is chicer than chic...a shape that is timeless and classic. The beauty of the classic trench is that it never goes out of style and can be worn for every occasion. Pairing it up with ballet flats will soften the masculinity of the coat and I almost always wear my hair up high when wearing a trench to keep the big collar from looking messy.
4) Keep the palette and the design simple.
At it's heart, gamine is about contrasting attitudes...a perfect approach to dressing that will trend-proof your everyday look because you'll be combining pieces that are classy enough not to look too of-a-moment. Try a delicate bow here, an elegant bit of tailoring there....and you'll be well on your way to gamine.